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A Below Basic Understanding Of Proficiency

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This report requires that we have distinguished between scaled scores within a proficiency level. Since most of these tests are calibrated based upon the proficiency cut offs and not calibrated so that scaled scores are equalized from year to year, a straight comparison of means is pretty meaningless. The scale is norm-referenced and comparing results contained between those norms do not have consistent interpretations from year to year. In short, while a lot of work is being done to ensure that a 3 one year is the same as a 3 the next year, there is very little work on most of these tests to ensure that a 340 one year is a 340 the next year. That's one of the major difficulties with generating student-level growth without going to a more abstract level and it's also a big part of the motivation behind generating new tests that are more sensitive to growth.

<p>Thanks for the comment, Jason. My understanding of DC-CAS is that the scale scores are comparable (with the usual caveats) within grades/subjects (though not over the entire DCPS population). Even if my impression is incorrect, as you suggest, there are ways to standardize the scores across grade/subject/cutpoints. Given the limitations of rate changes as a cross-sectional measure of progress, as well as the overhyped attention paid to DCPS testing results, I should think that noisy averages are better than none. (As you may know, standardized scores are used for the calculation of DCPS value-added estimates, but I thought I read somewhere that that was to address differences in score dispersion between subjects.) One other idea would be school- and grade-level value-added estimates. Many districts report these publicly, and DCPS might do the same. Thanks again, MD</p>

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